What to expect while doing the inside passage.

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#1
England
1,195 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Hi. What would be a typical day, while cruising the inside passage, and Glacier Bay day? This is our 1st Alaskan cruise and wondering how our day would go. We are used to sun bathing and inside activitys on sea days lol. Thanks x
#2
Syracuse, New York
49,516 Posts
Joined May 2000
If there is an inside area, you can still do the same.

You are on one of the most scenic itineraries- you may wish to take advantage of it. Get outside, proper attire would be necessary, along with wide angle binoculars. There is front insde viewing space, that can be tough to get due to campers. It will be up to you how you wish to spend this time.
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#3
England
1,195 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We have bought all the outside clothes needed as well as binoculors, so we are prepared lol Will the day be spent entirely outside? Do people sit around outside, or do people find inside viewing areas, and stay there all day? I really don't know what to expect Would there be hot drinks served outside at the bars?
Iv done lots of research on the port days and never thought of what our days will be like on board. Ps we will be on the Zuiderdam.

Campers?
#4
Syracuse, New York
49,516 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by billyelliot
We have bought all the outside clothes needed as well as binoculors, so we are prepared lol Will the day be spent entirely outside? Do people sit around outside, or do people find inside viewing areas, and stay there all day? I really don't know what to expect Would there be hot drinks served outside at the bars?
Iv done lots of research on the port days and never thought of what our days will be like on board. Ps we will be on the Zuiderdam.

Campers?
It is entiirely up to you, how you spend your time. If you are watching scenery or searching for wildlife, you aren't sitting. Not many people do this. And the outside decks are many times empty.

The Campers, secure their front row, inside seat, very early and stay there all day.

If you want front viewing, inside, you will also have to do this, and have a relay of seat saving with your partner, if you want to keep the seat.

I am up, usually a half hour prior to the posted dawn time, especially on the first sailng day, as I want to catch all I can of northern Vancouver island and the Queen Charoletts. I am frequently out alone and see very few people.
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#5
Toronto
223 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
BQ...so if you are sailing from Vancouver, on the 1st sea day after leaving port, it is well worth to wake up early for scenery viewing?

I can't imagine what it is like as I remember on our Caribbean cruise we did not see anything on sea days...just open water...
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#6
England
1,195 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We have bought all the outside clothes needed as well as binoculors, so we are prepared lol Will the day be spent entirely outside? Do people sit around outside, or do people find inside viewing areas, and stay there all day? I really don't know what to expect Would there be hot drinks served outside at the bars?
Iv done lots of research on the port days and never thought of what our days will be like on board. Ps we will be on the Zuiderdam.
#8
Clarksburg, WV
13,915 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
When I cruised Glacier Bay on Volendam they served hot split pea soup on the bow. I had never had it before and LOVED it.

If I remember correctly once the ship enters the actual park boundary you cruise for about another hour before reaching Lamplugh Glacier. After we spent some time there it was off to Johns Hopkins inlet (ice permitting) for a view of that glacier, and then it would take about 20-30 minutes to cruise over to Marjorie Glacier and the Grand Pacific Glacier where the ship spent about 45 minutes to an hour hovering and spinning so all balcony sides got to see the glacier. Once that was over it was about 90 minutes to exit the park and then off to the next place on your itinerary.
#9
Syracuse, New York
49,516 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by TallinnGirl
BQ...so if you are sailing from Vancouver, on the 1st sea day after leaving port, it is well worth to wake up early for scenery viewing?

I can't imagine what it is like as I remember on our Caribbean cruise we did not see anything on sea days...just open water...
Correct. You will have to wait and see, it is VERY different from just a "sea day".
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#10
Toronto
223 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
I wonder if it is better to stay on your balcony on GB day or be out on deck? Ideas anyone?
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#11
Clarksburg, WV
13,915 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by TallinnGirl
I wonder if it is better to stay on your balcony on GB day or be out on deck? Ideas anyone?
Definitely get out and move around the outer and upper decks of the ship. You can get some wonderful pictures combining the ship, people, and scenery that way.
#12
Boston, Mass
11 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Be smart, bring your bathing suits and get in the hot tubs and stay there and watch the Inside Passage and or Glacier bay pass bye you. Have done two Alaskan's cruises and never found any problem finding a railing to stand against be it on the sides or front of the ship. Have a great time. On Carnival they served hot chocolate to people out on deck as we cruised Glacier bay and played wonderfull classical music. Princess also offered warm cocoa and coffees and warm cocktails. Alaska is soooo much nicer than a Carribbean cruise. Friendly people, safe ports and no beggers constantly annoying you. Temps were in the mid 50's to mid 60's most days. Feel free to ask questions.
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#14
Sechelt, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,687 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by TallinnGirl
I wonder if it is better to stay on your balcony on GB day or be out on deck? Ideas anyone?
You can certainly do your glacier viewing from your balcony but if you do so you are only going to see half of what Glacier Bay offers up in the way of scenery...my advice is to get out on deck and walk around.
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#15
Sechelt, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,687 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by billyelliot
Hi. What would be a typical day, while cruising the inside passage, and Glacier Bay day? This is our 1st Alaskan cruise and wondering how our day would go. We are used to sun bathing and inside activitys on sea days lol. Thanks x
You will have non-stop scenery almost all day long. The exception is when pass by Queen Charlotte Sound and Dixon Entrance when you will experience a few hours of open water. Some of the most scenic cruising is from the tip of Vancouver Island down to Campbell River which includes going thru Seymour Narrows....in this area you will want to keep your eyes peeled for Orcas and dolphins.
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Previous Cruises:
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#16
Tx
16,598 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Great questions about what days are like on Alaskan cruises! I've been on 15 cruises, but all were Caribbean!
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#17
Clarksburg, WV
13,915 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
One of the most impressive days I have ever had cruising the Inside Passage was when we went through the Grenville Channel in British Columbia south of Prince Rupert on Celebrity Cruises. It was like driving a cruise ship down a mountain alleyway. I'm not sure how many cruise lines do this?

Southbound heading toward Vancouver, depending on the time of year and when you hit that stretch of the Inside Passage, the north side of Vancouver Island is very scenic all the way down to Port Neville but it usually gets dark around then mid-Summer.

A 'Day at Sea' cruising the Inside Passage north of Vancouver Island











#18
South Dakota
60 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Putterdude
You will have non-stop scenery almost all day long. The exception is when pass by Queen Charlotte Sound and Dixon Entrance when you will experience a few hours of open water. Some of the most scenic cruising is from the tip of Vancouver Island down to Campbell River which includes going thru Seymour Narrows....in this area you will want to keep your eyes peeled for Orcas and dolphins.
We leave Vancouver on June 6th @ 4:30pm. Would we have a chance to see orcas in this area or are we too early? When would we hit the tip of Vancouver Island? Thanks!!
#19
Beautiful BC Canada
3,695 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by dancerwith4kids
We leave Vancouver on June 6th @ 4:30pm. Would we have a chance to see orcas in this area or are we too early? When would we hit the tip of Vancouver Island? Thanks!!
You are never too early for whales leaving Vancouver but they are elusive. 6 JUN you will have daylight on the water until fairly late in the evening (11PM) and depending on the tide at Seymour Narrows (Just North of Campbell River) the ship will either be dogging it or going as fast as it can to make it at slack tide. So your viewing to darkness & sunrise position will depend on the tides at the Narrows and where your first Port is up north. Kinda complicated for timing ..sorry.

Through the Johnston Strait to the Northern tip of Vancouver Island is fairly narrow and whales could be visible at anytime there is daylight (5 AM ish) on your Journey.... this is the best overall viewing area of your trip in a large cruise ship these days as few venture off the "Safest" track now.
I refer to Orca's only in this area.
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#20
Wisconsin
1,004 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Hi all,

My DW and I decided to do an Alaskan Cruise for our 30th anniversary.
that will be September of 2013!!! (Cruise will depart 08/30/13)
I was just perusing the Alasakan ports of call boards and found this one.
Those pictures were awesome! Thank you dmwnc1959!

We are going to splurge on a Junior Suite on RCCL (Rhapsody of the Sea).
I'm going to have all the same questions on what goes on on the ship at sea cuz my only 4 other cruises were all Caribbean.

The next year and a half can't go by fast enough for me now.
I'll have to share these comments, and photos with DW.
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